Monday, April 28, 2008

Jonathan Johnson's $957,000 Payday

Is there any form of sleaze that doesn't engage in?

That was my reaction to reading the latest Sam Antar blog item, discussing, among other things, the $957,000 windfall enjoyed by Overstock general counsel Jonathan E. Johnson, who lied as if it was going out of style in a Wired interview and at the Overstock conference call.

After lying his head off about everything from GAAP to the SEC's posture on its accounting, Johnson then cashed in:
On April 23 and 24, 2008, in the two days following the latest lies by’s management team, Jonathan Johnson unloaded 55,922 common shares and pocketed gross proceeds totaling about $957,000 (Source: SEC Form 4 – here and here). In the months prior to Jonathan Johnson’s stock sales, repurchased 1.1 million shares at an average price of $10.90. Afterwards, Jonathan Johnson sold his shares at an average price of $17.13 per share or $6.23 higher than’s cost of buying back shares. The company still intends to spend another $8 million to buyback shares. Therefore, you have a lethal combination of false and misleading disclosures combined with the company simultaneously buying back shares to boost the market price of its common stock, while a key insider is selling.
The sleaze machine keeps rolling on. . .

© 2008 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

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